Gabriella DiPietro | Staff Writer
College students have a lot on their plate, whether it’s homework, student organizations, athletics, you name it. Many students may be stressed over upcoming job interviews, along with the added stress of finding something appropriate and professional to wear. Duquesne is helping alleviate some of this anxiety with its new Career Closet initiative.
The Career Closet can be found in the Spiritan Campus Ministry Center in the Towers Living and Learning Center. Students can meet with a campus consultant to discuss needed items and pick out their professional outfits. Appointments can be made by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The initiative will provide students, faculty and alumni with free formal wear for interviews and other professional activities. Jeff Mallory is the director of the Duquesne’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He is in charge of donations and is proud to be a part of this initiative.
“The closet is moderately stocked at this point. We have a nice number of shoes and dress shirts in particular, and we are still receiving a lot of donations,” Mallory said. “The crowdfunding campaign has generated close to $1,000 in financial support to date. For donations of clothes, we are responding to emails daily.”
Mallory explained that the initiative fits with Duquesne’s mission and all that it stands for, as well as tying in nicely with being diverse and inclusive.
“Regardless of your standing in the community, everyone has the ability to participate in this drive. We feel it’s a choice of participating at this point,” Mallory included. “As a university community, our job is to prepare our students for future success – this drive directly does that.”
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Career Services, Spiritan Campus Ministry, the Student Government Association, the Women’s Guild and the Faculty Senate have joined forces in order to create this initiative to better serve and support Duquesne’s students.
Olivia Erickson, president of the Student Government Association, believes that the initiative is a wonderful program and is glad to have been a part of the efforts made to make this idea into a reality.
“[The SGA is] happy to be involved because it is an important aspect of achieving success at Duquesne,” she said. “Students are able to make a good first impression without having to add financial strain to their situation.”
Jody Iannelli, the administrative assistant of the Spiritan Campus Ministry, has seen the Career Closet firsthand, and she loves what is in there.
“I think it is such a wonderful idea that has taken place for the students to have available to them. College in itself can be such a financial worry and stressful time for so many students,” Iannelli said.
Iannelli fully endorses the Career Closet, saying that the initiative provides a great opportunity and resource for Duquesne’s students.
“When it’s time to begin interviews, many do not have the funds to shop for the proper attire that is needed, but this wonderful project gives students an alternative place to go to find a great interview outfit for free,” she said.
Mallory described the collective hope for the program.
“We hope to provide students with the appropriate attire they need as they transition into the professional world. This program allows us to directly show our students that we not only want to see them do well, but will physically provide the opportunity to help them through such an initiative,” he said.
The program is in its kickoff phase, but it already has a variety of options for anyone wishing to use the initiative.
To support the program and donate, visit the Spiritan Campus Ministry between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or donate to the Crowdfunding Campaign at www.spirit.duq.edu/project/7652.